Gary Westbrock, PA

Dermatology

(805) 541-4018
715 Tank Farm Rd, Suite A
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Phone Hours

DayAMPM
Mon-1:30 - 4:30
Tue9 - 121 - 5
Wed9 - 12-
Thur9 - 121 - 5
Fri-1:30 - 4:30

COVID-19 Update


Personalized care for your skin.

Gary has been practicing dermatology in San Luis Obispo since 2003 and is dedicated to providing quality, personalized care for patients.
He sees patients in the office of Dermatologist and Mohs Surgeon Karen Allen, MD.

He enjoys treating patients of all ages who have a wide variety of skin issues such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis, to name just a few. He has extensive experience performing surgical procedures ranging from the removal of harmless moles and cysts to the excision of skin cancers.


Common Questions
New Patients - We are not accepting new patients at this time.

Insurance - we are in-network with Blue Cross, Blue Shield, and Medicare. For patients with out-of-network insurance, we attempt to facilitate reimbursement by your insurance company.
Update July 2021: We are in no way affiliated with the local hospital corporation that is currently having a contract dispute with Anthem Blue Cross Insurance.

Directions - enter through the Tank Farm Road driveway - we are the 2nd building on the right. We have a new entrance as of August 2018: see Google Maps.

Refills - If you need refills on a prescription written within the last year, please call your pharmacy and request a refill through them. (More refill info below)

eMail - click here


COVID-19 Update

7/29/2021
Well, that did not take very long.
Masks are now recommended by the State of California in indoor public places for EVERYONE, vaccinated or not.
Also, SLO county moved from the moderate to the substantial community spread category (more details below).
Do the right thing - wear a mask, and if you are not already vaccinated, please do so.

7/27/2021
1. The CDC has revised its guidelines for vaccinated people, essentially confirming what I stated in my last post – the Delta variant of COVID-19 has mutations that allow it to infect those who have been vaccinated. I wear a mask indoors(except at home) – I think that you should too, irrespective of your vaccination status. The CDC does not categorize our county as one that has a high enough risk to require indoor masks for vaccinated people yet, but most of the counties around us are already there, and our weekly COVID cases just doubled compared to last week – so it is inevitable, in my opinion. Fortunately the vaccine still appears to be quite effective at preventing hospitalization and death, so getting/being vaccinated is still very much in your best interest.

2. I still require masks for everyone in our office regardless of vaccination status, and would do so even if it was not required by state law for healthcare facilities.

3. As noted above, We are in no way affiliated with the local hospital corporation that is currently having a contract dispute with Anthem Blue Cross Insurance.

7/13/2021
The office is essentially open to all types of problems/visits/etc. – i.e. we are doing routine skin checks and evaluating non-urgent problems. But we still keep the door locked, appointments are still spaced generously to prevent interaction between patients, and masks are still required for everyone, even if vaccinated.

I still urge you to be cautious and to wear a mask when you are in public places indoors, even if you are vaccinated. The risks from the Delta variant of COVID-19 are very real, and although the vaccines are very effective, they are not perfect – there is still a risk of infection, albeit much less severe than without a vaccine.

5/25/2021

COVID cases are down and vaccinations are up, but I still advise a healthy dose of caution for everyone, regardless of vaccination status. I was previously concerned about a surge in (local) cases this spring and I am happy that has not come to pass… yet. But this pandemic is still far from over. Worldwide there were still 4 million new cases and 86,000 deaths in the last week. The central coast appears to be doing well at the moment, but there are many places around the world that have had surges when they let down their guard (e.g. India and areas of Asia). I won’t get into all of the details here, but suffice it to say that caution is still warranted.

We are still doing telemedicine visits by request, especially when it comes to refills of medications when it is a routine matter that does not require in-person consultation. Please contact us if you need anything – we are here to help.


Changes to our office
We are currently seeing patients on Mondays and Fridays, but things have changed as we try to minimize our patient’s potential exposure to the coronavirus:

We are only filling every other appointment slot, in an effort to reduce the number of people in the office at one time. Patients should come to their appointments alone, with an exception made for those who require a caregiver in attendance.

We are no longer using our waiting room nor our front desk. When you arrive at our office please text or call Nancy at (805)541-4018 and wait in your car or outside the building(there is a bench outside the door). Once an exam room is clean and ready for you and there are no other patients in the hallway, Nancy will text/call you to when we are ready for you.

She will then unlock the front door and take your temperature from your forehead, to ensure that you do not have a fever before you enter the office. She will then take you directly to an exam room.

All patients will also be required to wear a mask while being seen in our office, and all of our staff will do the same. If you do not have a mask, then one will be provided for you. These do not have to be fancy “N95” masks – any mask that covers the nose and mouth will suffice.


Telemedicine
We offer two types of telemedicine visits:
A. Review of a photo of a solitary spot – for example, a worrisome mole
B. Live video visits with Gary for more involved/complicated problems

Steps to enable a telemedicine visit:
1. Contact Nancy (see below) for a link to our telemedicine service and to arrange a time for a video visit, as needed. She will also confirm your current contact information and insurance coverage.

2. Download the PocketPatient app for your phone or tablet of choice. Once you have opened the app, go to the More: Options: Camera Settings – select “high resolution” for both the front and back cameras.

3. Initiate a visit by requesting a "Virtual Check-In” using the app.

4. Tips for taking photos:
a. bright light is essential, especially sunlight
b. do not place the lens closer to the skin than about 4 inches(about the width of a toilet paper roll)
c. zoom in slightly to help even out the lighting
d. take photos from several angles.

5. If review of a photo is all that is requested, then the visit will be conducted via messaging within the app.

6. If a video visit is required, then at the time of your scheduled appointment you will receive a text message or notification through the app, which will provide a link to the video visit.

Patients wishing to have Gary review photos are encouraged to send them through our Telehealth system. Insurance will be billed for all visits, but if you are prefer to send in photos via email instead of the PocketPatient app or our patient portal, then you will be charged a $15 convenience fee that will not be billed to insurance, in addition to the charge for the actual visit.

Problems appropriate for telemedicine
• acne or rosacea (especially for refills if you are fairly stable with your current regimen)
• psoriasis, eczema, poison oak
• specific spots of concern, e.g. is it a skin cancer?
• new rashes, with the understanding that we might need an in-person appointment if photos/video prove to be insufficient


About Gary - Gary graduated from the Physician Assistant (PA) program at Samuel Merritt College in Oakland, California in 2001 with a Master’s Degree in PA Studies (MPA). This rigorous program lasted over 2 years, which included over a year of classroom instruction followed by a year of hands-on clinical training in the core medical fields of primary care, internal medicine, pediatrics, surgery, emergency medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, and geriatrics.

After graduating, Gary pursued his interest in dermatology by training and working in San Francisco with Dr. Marcus Conant (1996 Practitioner of the Year for the American Academy of Dermatology). Gary is constantly expanding his knowledge of dermatology by participating in lectures, seminars, and attending educational conferences. He also acts as a clinical mentor for PA students.

Prior to his PA education, he received an undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and worked for 4 years in pharmaceutical research, developing drugs for urinary tract diseases. He was also trained as an emergency medical technician.

To remain nationally certified by the National Commission on Certification of PAs (NCCPA), Gary must complete 100 hours of Continuing Medical Education (CME) every 2 years, and pass a national recertification examination every 6 years.

He was nominated for the Most Outstanding Student Award at Samuel Merritt College, and received Special Recognition in Surgery from the NCCPA in 2001.

Gary has also served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor for the PA Program at Samuel Merritt College in Oakland. He is active in the Society for Dermatology PAs, and has served on the board of directors. He is also a member of the American Academy of PAs, California Academy of PAs, and Central Coast Dermatological Society.

What is a PA? - PAs are medical providers formally trained in primary care medicine, graduating from one of over 78 accredited medical-model training programs in the United States. While approximately 1/3 of the estimated 75,000 PAs nationwide remain in primary care, the rest can be found in every medical and surgical specialty.

PAs have been practicing with dermatologists for over 30 years, providing a wide variety of services. These include diagnosis, prescribing medications, ordering and interpreting lab tests, wound suturing, and medical or surgical treatment of a wide variety of clinical diseases.

As with ALL PAs, dermatology PAs are legally and ethically bound to practice only in collaboration with their employing physician(s).

Our Office - Because we are a small office, we may not always be able to answer your inquiry immediately. We appreciate your patience, as that usually means that we are currently helping another patient, but we will get back you you as soon as we can.

New Patients - We are not accepting new patients at this time.

This may change in the future, but currently we have limited resources and want to make sure that we give our current patients the attention that they deserve.

Refills - If you need refills on a medication prescribed within the last year, please call your pharmacy and request a refill through them. If you have zero refills left then the pharmacy will request further refills from us. If the prescription is older than 1 year then please call our office, because you will need to make an appointment to be seen. Please allow 2 business days for us to process your refill request. Some medications such as antibiotics and topical steroids must be monitored closely, so if we have not seen you recently, you may need to make an appointment with us to get additional refills.

Directions - enter through the Tank Farm Road driveway - we are the 2nd building on the right. We have a new entrance as of August 2018: see below or Google Maps. Our door is tucked under the overhang between the 2 buildings - closer to the parking lot than before. If you are looking at the locater map (aka you are here) near the Tank Farm driveway, we are immediately to your left.
If you follow your car's GPS then expect to get lost. Seriously. We hear this all the time from our patients.

Locator Sign near Tank Farm Driveway

Contact us or Request an appointment

We will attempt to contact you within 2 business days.
If this is an urgent request, please call us instead.
You can also email us using the link at the top of he page